In vitro fermentation and prebiotic potential of selected extracts from seaweeds and mushrooms

Dina Rodrigues*, Gemma Walton, Sérgio Sousa, Teresa A. P. Rocha-Santos, Armando C. Duarte, Ana C. Freitas, Ana M. P. Gomes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Extracts with prebiotic activity or bioactive compounds from natural sources such as seaweeds or mushrooms, combining a broad spectrum of biological properties, may offer great potential for their use as functional ingredients enabling intestinal microbiota modulation. In this context, selected enzymatic extracts from Sargassum muticum, Osmundea pinnatifida and Pholiota nameko were evaluated in vitro. Faecal fermentations were conducted anaerobically under controlled temperature and pH over 24 h. Enzymatic extracts of Ph. nameko and of O. pinnatifida at 1% (w/v), lead to increases in Bifidobacterium spp. after 6 h of fermentation in comparison to negative control, suggesting a stimulatory effect. No significant changes over 24 h were observed of Lactobacillus spp. In particular, the Ph. nameko extract obtained with Flavourzyme not only stimulated growth and/or activity of Bifidobacterium spp. but also led to a decrease of Clostridium histolyticum group upon 24 h, thus potentially benefiting colonic health. Higher percentages of this extract (2 and 3%) impaired a C. histolyticum reduction confirming this selective action and prebiotic potential. Differences in short chain fatty acids (SCFA) and lactic acid production between the four extracts may indicate a potential relationship between their physico-chemical properties, which differ in composition and structures, and modulation of gut bacterial species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalLWT - Food Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Enzymatic extracts
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)
  • Mushrooms
  • Prebiotic activity
  • Seaweeds


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